States with Licensure (updated June 6, 2014)
States with Mandates (updated June 6, 2014)
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by:
- Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts
- Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities
- Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (typically recognized in the first two years of life)
- Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning
The term “spectrum” refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment or disability that children with ASD can have. Some children are mildly impaired by their symptoms, while others are severely disabled. The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) no longer includes Asperger’s syndrome; the characteristics of Asperger’s syndrome are included within the broader category of ASD.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2014). Retrieved from http://nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd/index.shtml
What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?
ABA is the design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental modifications that produce socially significant improvement in human behavior. ABA includes the use of direct observation, measurement, and functional analysis of the relationships between the environment and specific behavior. ABA utilizes modifications in environmental events, including antecedents and consequences, to elicit viable and significant changes in behavior. The relevant environmental events are identified through a variety of specialized assessment techniques. ABA is based on the fact that an individual’s behavior is determined by past and current environmental events in conjunction with organic variables. ABA focuses on treating behavioral difficulties by changing the individual’s environment rather than focusing on variables that are beyond a practitioners direct access.
What is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)?